Letter to NC State Community

Dear NC State Community,

In many ways, we are experiencing another great year at NC State. Our university continues to garner top rankings, our students and faculty are consistently recognized as some of the best in the nation, and in a few weeks about 5,000 new graduates will launch from NC State ready to begin the next chapter in their lives.

However, as we enter the final stretch of this semester, it is also important to recognize that in many other ways this academic year has been among the most painful and challenging in recent memory for the NC State community. Events that have taken place on our campus and throughout the country over the last several months have challenged and tested our Wolfpack family. Ultimately, I believe we have emerged from these challenges stronger, but there is still much work to do.

Most recently, we learned of the tragic passing of a respected and valued member of our student community. She was deeply dedicated to our campus and exemplified the Wolfpack spirit in every sense. She was beloved by students and faculty alike. This loss, deeply felt by many, widens the void created just a short time ago by the senseless act of violence that claimed the lives of three members of the Wolfpack family in Chapel Hill.

During these times of grief, we may find ourselves grappling with painful or unfamiliar emotions, and we may be unsure of how to deal with these feelings. I urge you to take care of yourself and take care of others. Please take advantage of the support that is available on campus, and be a source of support for those around you.

Counseling Center counselors are available in confidence and free of charge for students 24 hours a day and can be reached during regular and non-office hours at 919-515-2423. And, if you witness concerning behavior in a student, please submit a referral to our Students of Concern site (http://studentsofconcern.ncsu.edu/) to help us ensure his or her continued success at NC State.

Counselors are also available for faculty and staff by contacting the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program. The FASAP is confidential and provided at no charge to faculty, staff and their dependents. Access counseling services 24/7 through FASAP by calling 866-467-0467, or using online resources at www.guidanceresources.com (webID: fasap).

You can always contact University Police by calling 919-515-3000 or 911 if there is an emergency. Our police encourage the campus community to call if they have any safety concerns.

In addition to these tragic losses, our collective attention has also been drawn to a number of events that have occurred throughout the nation, many of which are indicative of an underlying climate of intolerance and racism on college campuses. Our campus has not been immune to these issues, and this past March evidence of this type of behavior was uncovered in one of our fraternities.  While I can say with confidence that this instance does not reflect the standards of the campus or Greek community as a whole, these actions are an embarrassment for the overwhelming majority of us who identify as members of the Pack.

At NC State, we take seriously our commitment to welcome all people regardless of age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. I encourage you to help NC State continue to strive to build and enhance a culture that values empathy, respect, tolerance and equality for all. If you witness behaviors that are hateful and contrary to these values, I encourage you speak up when you need to, intervene when you need to, get help when you need to.

The academic year is drawing to a close, bringing with it the successful completion of studies, the celebration of graduation, and the anticipation of the coming new academic year. It is however also a time of converging deadlines, multiple obligations in and out of the classroom, and stress as the year comes to a close. As we approach the end of the semester, remember to offer support to your friends and colleagues.  Be there for each other, and we in turn will be there for you.

In the spirit of the Pack,

Mike Mullen
Vice Chancellor and Dean
Division of Academic and Student Affairs